Just as Atlanta’s community is a melting pot of cultures, the cycling community is also peppered with cyclists of all types: from cyclists who commute everywhere by bike, to the recreational riders that coast through Piedmont Park, to the intense crit racers and bike polo teams of East Atlanta.
Jeffrey Wisard realized this, and after happening upon the Cork Cycling Festival in Ireland during his travels abroad, he set out to build a similar experience here in Atlanta. The Atlanta Cycling Festival highlights all things cycling with a series of rides, classes and parties happening around the city. All you need is a bike.
In short, yes, Atlanta has a cycling culture. For instance, did you know that on the second Friday of every month, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition hosts The Mobile Social, where a group of more than 100 people (usually) bike the streets of Atlanta. Or that Snyder Cycles and MBIKES are custom-built bike manufacturers based in ATL? These organizations and businesses, among others, are what the Atlanta Cycling Festival aims to highlight.
“After visiting Ireland, I thought, why can’t Atlanta have a whole week dedicated to cycling?” Wisard said of his inspiration for the festival. “Why not have an entire week of biking events, get-togethers, parades, rides, socials... Culminating with a cycle party. Why not?”
Part of Wisard’s draw to the Cork Cycling Festival was the “biking Viking ship”—a set of two bikes pedaling a make-shift Viking boat. (Okay, it was a small part, but a cool picture.)
And so Wisard formed an awesome team and began planning the first ever Atlanta Cycling Festival in 2014! Now in its second year, the festival has grown to more than 40 events.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to get in the saddle. If you think there’s not a bike event for you, check out a few of these niche social events.
For the photographer: #weloveATL Bikestameet: Bike photo party and tour by #weloveATL.
For the movie buff: Bike-In Movie. Bring your bike and a basket and enjoy a movie in O4W Park.
For the foodie: 2nd Annual Doughnut Ride. Tour and sample the best doughnut shops in Atlanta.
For the techie: Startup, Tech, and Innovation Ride. A partnership with Hypepotamus to tour some of the startup spaces and incubators in Atlanta, with a focus on bike business.
For the single guy/gal: Bicycle Speed Dating. Hop on your bikes and get to know other like-minded cycling guys and girls on a safe, tinder-free fun ride.
You can find the complete list here . All events throughout the week are free to attend, and depending on the ride or party, food and drink is available for purchase.
This year, The Atlanta Cycling Festival’s goals will greatly benefit the local cycling community. A $2,000 grant will be donated to kick-start a bike delivery service from Carver Market, a community market who aims to deliver goods to food desert areas of South Atlanta. The festival will also donate five percent of its net profits back to the Atlanta bike community.
The 2015 Atlanta Cycling Festival will be held Saturday June 13 to Saturday June 20, and it’s open to all cyclists—from new riders looking to learn the ropes to cycling in Atlanta, to seasoned experts who want to connect with like-minded, fun-loving cyclists. Whichever category you fall into, the festival is sure to provide a one-of-a-kind week of alternative summer fun.